4 Major Complications of Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem across the globe and has become an epidemic. Approximately 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2016. Of these, over 650 million were obese. The number increases by the minute due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. The good thing is that obesity is preventable. Weight loss, because of healthy eating habits, exercise, and helpful weight management centers in Provo, is important to achieve to prevent complications from arising. Here are the common complications linked to obesity:

Major Complications of Obesity

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when cholesterol builds up on the artery walls, forming plaques. As a result, the arteries narrow, reducing the blood flow to the heart. Obesity makes a person at a higher risk of high cholesterol levels in the blood.

When there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart, the muscles die, causing myocardial infarction or a heart attack. Reduced blood flow to the heart may also cause ischemic heart disease that causes chest pain.

Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide. In fact, of the 59.6 million deaths in 2016, 9.4 million people died due to ischemic heart disease. In the United States, 610,000 people die of heart disease each year, making it the leading cause of death of adults.   


This is another potentially fatal complication of obesity. It’s the second leading cause of death across the globe. In 2016, 5.7 million people worldwide died due to a stroke.

A stroke happens when the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain becomes blocked or ruptured. As a result, the cells in the brain die due to lack of oxygen supply. People who are obese are at a higher risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in the blood. The cholesterol forms plaques around the arterial wall. When the artery becomes narrow, the blood exerts more pressure to pass through (high blood pressure). This makes the arterial wall weak and ruptures.

Aside from death, a stroke can lead to disability and paralysis. When the cells in the brain die, the abilities controlled by the areas affected such as memory and muscle control are lost.

Major Complications of Obesity

Type 2 Diabetes

This results from either a low supply of insulin in the pancreas or insulin resistance in the cells of the body. If you’re obese, you’re 80 times more prone to developing type 2 diabetes than those people with a normal body mass index (BMI). Type 2 diabetes can cause other serious conditions such as kidney failure, vision loss, strokes, heart attacks, and nerve damage.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Obesity heightens the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. In hypertension, the blood exerts high pressure or force toward the arterial wall. Hence, the arterial wall weakens, causing an aneurysm, a condition that can lead to stroke. Also, hypertension increases the workload of the heart, leading to heart problems.

Obesity isn’t just about excess weight or being heavy. There’s more to obesity than what meets the eye—complications. These complications can shorten one’s lifespan and quality of life. Without proper weight management, obese individuals may face high risks of deadly diseases.

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